Review: Norco Range Killer B-Three 650b/27.5 All Mountain Bike

27.5 Enduro Pro Reviews
Norco Range Killer B Three Overall Impressions

This bike is a killer value for the money. It’s such a downhill-biased bike that it could be considered to be overkill for people who don’t have plenty of technical downhill trails. If you’ve got a good selection of aggressively gravity-oriented technical terrain, or if you’re never in a particular rush to get uphill but want to max out charging downhills, then the Range is your bike.

Many will ask about the 650b wheels. I’ve had about 15 rides on the Range to date and can’t say that I’ve made up my mind about the wheels yet. What’s really stuck in my mind is the completeness of the bike as a package; its that superbly well thought out.

In a follow-up article, I’m planning to compare the 650b version to a 26-inch wheeled Range. This won’t be scientific at all (I’d better leave that to the Germans) but it will satisfy my own nagging curiosity. Look for that in a month or so. In the meantime, if you want to geek out on wheel sizes look at Francis’s video here:

Pros:

  • Price price price. The bike is $2899. The Range frame alone is $2720. Did I mention price?
  • The X-Fusion suspension is beyond fantastic. The front fork was particularly stiff and I applaud Norco for spec’ing the 20mm Xfusion.
  • Fun, playful yet stable-at-speed downhill performer.
  • A.R.T. makes a tremendous difference for slow grinding uphills
  • Will keep the fashionistas happy by having cutting edge 650b technology

YouTube Preview Image Video: Norco Range in Action (Courtesy of Norco Bikes)

Cons:

  • Not going to win any uphill sprinting time-trials (weight in particular in the sluggishness of the wheels)
  • Lots of room for upgrades (remember this is a value-priced bike)
  • Will identify the owner as a fashionistas by having cutting edge 650b technology

Here’s our initial thoughts on the Sight and Range during the product launch late last season. http://reviews.mtbr.com/2013-norco-range-and-sight-650b-bikes

Review: Norco Range Killer B-Three 650b/27.5 All Mountain Bike Gallery
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Norco Range

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Norco Range Descent

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Norco Range Tire Clearance with Schwalbe Hans Dampf

Tons of clearance even with OE Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.35s (Kenda Nevegals cited on website spec are an error).
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Norco Range Drive Side

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Norco Range Happy Climb

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Norco Range Fromme Jump

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Norco Range Lost Lake Trails

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Norco Range Non Drive side

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Norco Range Descent on Pemberton

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Norco Range on Pemberton

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Norco Range Killer-B

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Norco Range on Severed Dick Trail

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Norco Range on Seymour

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Norco Range Killer B-Three Specs

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Norco Range Syntace Rear End

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Norco Range Geometry Comparison Chart


About the author: Lee Lau

Lee Lau calls North Vancouver and Whistler BC home. He's had over 15 years experience riding bikes mainly in western North America and in Europe. Unlike many people who learned to ride bikes on North Shore trails, he actually enjoys riding (and sometimes bushwhacking) uphill.


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  • Izzy says:

    “If you’re outside this range you’ll need to change the stock spring”
    Huh? You mean add/remove air???
    Where’s Francis’ video as mentioned on the last page?
    How does the Sight Killer-B’s climbing performance compare to the Range’s? Particularly the way the suspension behaves?

  • LeeL says:

    Sloppy on my part – Francis’s video is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1EnL5wf2MOM

    Actually check out the X-Fusion site via the link and the other link in the story re the mod. There’s a coil spring and an air spring. You actually have to change the stock coil spring. IMO if you’re going through that trouble spring the extra 300 and get the HLR damper which gets you HSC and LSC

    Sight Killer B pedals better with substantially less bob particularly in the small ring

  • Maple says:

    Lee,

    How’s it compare with the RM Altitude? Like you I’m more of climber, which would you prefer on a trail like Pipeline (Fromme), or Cardiac (Bby), or Salamander (Seymour), or Franks (Burke)… as a wide assortment of trails?

  • Oscar says:

    Which trail on Fromme is that jump on? (If it’s not a secret) Looks like fun!

    • Paul Snyder says:

      Oscar – all the trails in this video are on Seymour. None of them are secret. They are listed (not in order of appearance) under the video on Vimeo.

  • LeeL says:

    Maple – the Altitude is more comparable to the Sight. The Ranges quality of suspension is more plush and better for absorption of small hits and/or multiple hits than the Altitude/Sight but IMO the Altitude and Sight are better climbing bikes

  • Angel says:

    What size bike are you riding on these video ?

  • Lee Lau says:

    Angel – I’m on a size Medium

  • M@ says:

    Do you feel that the M was the best fit at 5’11? I’ve always landed in the middle of sizing charts at 5’8″. Curious if the small would be a better fit or throw a 40/50 stem on a M. Ordered my 2014

    • Lee Lau says:

      M@ – I thought the Med was a good fit for me but I tend to prefer smaller sizes. You’ve got a tough problem – I tend to think that you might be a S but that’s a guess

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